Zelda: 25th Anniversary

// June 3rd, 2011 // Geeky Stuff, General

Has it already been 25 years since we first saw The Legend of Zelda come out on the trusty NES? It certainly has been, and rumour has it that Nintendo have something up their sleeves to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Just last year, we were all celebrating Super Mario’s 25th Anniversary. Nintendo commemorated this by releasing Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii. As good as this was for any of us who didn’t already have this game (or series of games, if you want to see it that way), it was basically just an emulated ROM made to run on Wii software. What I would’ve liked to see was a remake of Super Mario All-Stars using the same engine used for New Super Mario Bros Wii, utilising all the benefits included with it, like co-op 4-player gaming and enhanced graphics. The game also included a booklet of Mario history, and an audio CD with a select few soundtracks from various past games. The booklet made for very light reading, and the CD was unremarkable. In my opinion, anyone who truly wanted to listen to the soundtracks would’ve already downloaded them from the internet.

So what’s in store for Zelda’s 25th Anniversary? I, for one, wouldn’t want to see a repeat of what happened with Mario’s 25th last year. There’s no “All-Stars” Zelda game, as far as I know. I’ve hypothesised a number of options that Nintendo might choose to go with, but almost all of them would be poor choices if Nintendo decided to do any of them.

Super Mario All Stars (Wii) box art

If Nintendo want to do the same with Zelda this year as they did with Super Mario last year, they might decide to stick a few Zelda ROMs onto a Wii disc and call it a day. This wouldn’t be a good idea, because the two Zelda games released for the NES are already on the Wii Shop for 500 points each. “A Link to the Past” (SNES), “Ocarina of Time” (N64) and “Majora’s Mask” (N64) are also already on the Wii Shop for reasonable prices. Putting these onto a disc and releasing it for the 25th anniversary would be a really lazy approach by Nintendo, and would probably result in a product that would cost a lot more than the cost of downloading the games from the Wii Shop.

Doing a straight port of “Ocarina of Time Master Quest” for the Wii would also be a lazy move, as it was already done a few years ago on the GameCube. Since the Wii supports GameCube discs, consumers would find it a lot cheaper to find a 2nd hand copy somewhere. Nintendo could always consider the release of “Ocarina of Time 3D” (3DS) or the Wii’s upcoming “Skyward Sword” as their way of celebrating 25 years of pointy-eared antics, but us fans would feel pretty cheated at this.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword preview screenshot

What I would like to see is a whole remake of either “Ocarina of Time” or “Ocarina of Time Master Quest” (or both) using the engine used for “Twilight Princess” (Wii). In my opinion, the graphics used in “Twilight Princess” are absolutely stunning, as is the music and gameplay. To see some classic N64 Zelda games remade using this engine would be fantastic, and recording the same music performed by a full orchestra would be icing on the cake. Just imagine it… “Ocarina of Time”, one of the greatest Zelda games of all time, remade using vastly improved graphics and sound and taking advantage of the Wii’s wireless controllers (and maybe even Motion Plus). If Nintendo did that, I would most certainly buy it!

Rumour has it that Nintendo are going to reveal what they plan to do for the anniversary at E3 2011 next week. Fingers crossed they’ll do something to pay homage to the series.

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